I am sooo excited! This week one of my favourite Melbourne annual festivals begins: Melbourne Fringe Festival! With events showcasing visual, performing and conceptual art forms, Melbourne Fringe celebrates its 34th year in recognising that art is for everyone!
This year’s program covers an array of events over three weeks (September 15th through October 2nd). And to help patrons overcome any anxiety when trying to decide what to see at the festival , Fringe has created a Fortune Teller: a devise that, using algorithms, helps narrow down options based on keyword searches. For example, if interested in seeing something with drama, clowning and singing, the Fortune Teller can recommend three or more events.
But if you are looking for some personal suggestions by a true professional (I don’t mean to boast, but I DO know good events…HA!) here are my top 10 picks for what I’m looking forward to seeing at Melbourne Fringe:
1.) Menage – designed for an audience of two, patrons are given an opportunity to look inside the life of a sex worker. I expect this show to be confronting, full of taboo but will also draw empathy for an industry I know very little about, minus stereotypical assumptions. Menage sounds like it’s going to be personal, intriguing and a GREAT conversation starter! Tickets have been selling fast already with many time slots already sold out. That tells me that if interested, you better get your tickets FAST!
2.) Echoes – I was honoured to have seen this show at the 2015 Adelaide Fringe Festival, and this story has stuck in my mind since. Two women from different walks of life share the stage to tell their personal experiences in following their faith or choosing their own path. The best part was discovering similarities between two very different religions and their time periods. Heartbreaking, poetic and definitely a conversation worth presenting, I look forward to seeing ECHOES again because every audience brings something new to the experience!
3.) Buried at Sea – When a writer digs deep into telling the story of Gallipoli, a personal one at best through his Great-Great Uncle, the line between reality and fiction starts to blur. I believe any performance involving remembering the brave men who sacrificed for our freedoms in Gallipoli, and honouring our relatives, is well deserving of sold out performances. As a fan of the television series, Who Do You Think You Are, I hope this show reveals how strong our ancestry ties are.
4.) Déjà vu – Ever catch yourself reliving moments from a recent dream? Whoa! This sounds like a show that explores just that. Best part is the performer herself, Andi Snelling. I am confident that Snelling will draw from her own silly experiences leaving you charmed and sore in the stomach from laughter. I was honoured to catch Snelling’s 2015 Melbourne Fringe show #DearDiary which highlighted personal entries throughout her childhood. It was hilarious, touching and engaging, and I am really not expecting anything less this year. As a Fringe veteran, Snelling knows how to please her audiences.
5.) World War T – Oh the dreaded possibility! Word War T will explore a potential future where the greatest president to ever have graced our world is President Donald Trump! Personally, I have been glued to American politics all year, as I am sure many have been too, praying for family and friends to make the best decision for their future. And I am NOT convinced Trump would be their best hope. I like to think I am an open-minded individual, so I am hoping the show may reveal something I am missing about Trump; I mean, is he really as bad a guy as I think he is? Actually, I really hope this show makes Trump look like the idiot he truly is!
6.) Bomb Collar – Could it be? An Actual bomb strapped on a collar? The urgency seems real. Will this performer beat the clock to give his audience a rocking show? Time to find out. Plus, I think this show will bring together sci-fi fans and electro-pop music followers to a kick-ass show. I’m looking forward to this rocking performance!
7.) ZOOM – Improv? I’m in! I love improv, and this show promises to deliver an original form filled with imagery created through narration. According to its program description, this form of improv, best described as Birdman for the stage, has been performed in Amsterdam, Hamburg, Paris, Berlin and Wellington – so let’s see what makes this form of improv so different and compelling. Go!
8.) Stupid and Contagious – Think of the best concert event you’ve ever experienced. Now, help these performers recreate it! Inviting audiences to help create the most epic rock concert experience, I expect Stupid and Contagious to blow the roof off the house every performance! Sure, these standards sound high, but if I’m going to get involved in the show, I refuse to lower the bar. My best rock concert experience? The Killers in New York City – GO!
9.) Cosmonaut – As a former reader of Cosmopolitan magazine (admit it, you were once a reader too!), I am dying to see someone select and reveal the worst sex tips. Performer, Ryan Good has performed this show at both Adelaide and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals to stellar reviews. To me, this sounds like the ultimate hen’s night out! I only wish I knew someone who was about to get hitched.
10.) Blank Tiles – As its program description reveals, Austin is a former SCRABBLE world champion with memory loss. Sounds quirky, touching and heartbreaking! I gather from the hero image that this performer will showcase amazing character work; and if the reviews from Adelaide Fringe reveal anything, the writing is supposedly very good. I’m looking forward to seeing this sweet, feel-good story and hope that it becomes a performance that draws newbies to theatre to the Fringe!
For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit The Melbourne Fringe website.